Monday, April 28, 2014

Adventures in Tennessee~The Journey Begins{Part 1}

Hello there lovely readers! Hope you are all having a great week! A couple posts back I mentioned that I wanted to post about my adventures in Tennessee, where I lived while volunteering for the great ministry of Above Rubies. I posted a few times while I was actually up there but would like to share a little bit more{even though I've been home for over 7 months now}. Since I lived in Tennessee for just about a whole year I have quite a lot to share! I think I'm going to take a month at a time{per post}, show some pictures, and write about some of the fun things I got to do. I'm not sure how long it will take me but since I was there for about 12 months then it will take at least twelve posts. By the way how do like my title...sounds pretty epic, right? ;)
Okay to start with, this picture was taken on the very first day{way back on October 31, 2012} when I arrived at the Campbell's home. As you can see I look a bit different, that's because while I was there I lost a large amount of weight. This post here will give you some details about Above Rubies and the Campbell family. On the very first day I met Mariah{from Washington} and Olivia{from Tasmania, Australia}. They were both so sweet and made me feel welcomed. I was very nervous and I'm thankful for Mariah and Olivia's patience with me as I learned the ropes of the office. That being said I had to learn pretty fast as I only had five days with Olivia and Mariah! Each time a new Ruby Girl{what we AR volunteers call ourselves} came, the Ruby Girls that are leaving teach them all they need to know about the AR{will be abbreviating Above Rubies to AR from here on out} office. So you better pay attention the first time! ;) Some fun things I did with Mariah and Olivia were; watching Oklahoma for the first time{not my favorite movie musical, although I love the songs}, having a sleep over with a former Ruby Girl who lived close by, eating kale chips{for the first time}and watching{and laughing}as Olivia made a frappe in our room{known as the Ruby Girl room}. No joke she brought the blender in the room because she didn't want to disturb everyone with all the noise.
Top left: The place I called home for almost a year. The grey part of the house is where the Campbell's added on the Ruby Girl room. Top right: The Ruby Girl room, my bed was the bottom bunk on the right. You can see some cards from family and friends taped on the wall around my bed. Bottom left: The big room downstairs where the Campbell's have church, where all the parties happen, and where we watched movies on the big screen. Bottom right: The Above Rubies office; the entire ministry for the US is run here. After Mariah and Olivia left, Layla{from Missouri} came. Although she was there for only a month we got to know each other so well and have become great friends! Layla and her sister Hagen blog over at Two Blessed Damsels.
Layla and I got to spend Thanksgiving with the Campbell's. There were probably 50 people there and that was mostly family! The picture below is of Mr. and Mrs Campbell's children, in laws, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.
Some highlights from Thanksgiving Day were: Winning a girls versus boys and adult versus children tug of war{I was on the adult team}. Participating in an egg toss with Layla and having the egg splatter all down my outfit{I wasn't to happy about that :(}. Having a dance party late into the night. Oh and of course eating a big Thanksgiving meal{including roast lamb} and plenty of yummy desserts{including homemade cheesecake...yum!}
Top left: All in a row throwing the eggs. Top right: Layla and I with a few of the Campbell family. Bottom left: The downstairs set up to eat. Each person had a place card{even the babies}which Layla and I helped make. Bottom right: Us girls cheering after we won the tug of war against the boys! Layla and I had some great walks in the woods, sometimes just us two and other times with some of the family. We would stay up late into the night, talking or watching Blimey Cow videos. Once we got to go out to eat at Applebee's with a Vietnam vet who is a family friend to the Campbell's, everyone called him Jolly Rodge. He was jolly too; he would put on fake accents{usually British} and tell some funny jokes! =D Layla and I also got to help with giving out food for needy families which was a great blessing. Of course I was sad to see Layla go but we have remained such great friends. I'm sure there's more I could write about but since this post is getting pretty long I'll end it here. Hope you enjoyed the first installment of my "Adventure in Tennessee" series. Stayed tuned for more! 

Ever volunteered before? 
Lived away from home for a extended amount of time? 
What does your family do for Thanksgiving?November
Please leave your comments below!

Love in Christ,

Photo credits: AR Facebook page, Layla, Ashley, Rebekah, Annie, and Mercy. Thanks so much for the use of your photos!


  1. I enjoyed reading about your first month at Above Rubies! It sounds like a lovely time. :) Didn't know that you and Layla knew each other in real life! How fun.

    1. Glad you enjoyed the post! Haha, yes I do know Layla in real life and not just blog life! ;)

  2. Looks like you had an amazing time!
    And yes, I volunteer pretty frequently-setting up our rescue missions banquet for a thousand people, working the merchandise table for christian concerts, etc)
    Congrats on your weight loss by the way-great job!
    A modest fashion blog:

    1. Thank you, Natasha! Wow, setting up a banquet for a thousand people sounds like quite a task...very cool!

  3. I was born in Tennessee and lived there for thirteen years, so it's a special place to my heart! :) So glad you enjoyed your time there.


    1. Very neat, Ireland! I did enjoy my time there; TN is such a beautiful place! ;)


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